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NEW DELHI-Towards a Mid-Term Poll

BM A mid-term poll for the Lok Sabha is not only inevitable but has become imperative for the return of political stability, social cohesion and economic advance. The political and social cost of not going to the polls for a fresh mandate, after the Congress withdrew its support to the UF coalition and forced a change of leadership, has been enormous. These costs must not be allowed to multiply by political dithering and the interests of politicians and coteries surrounding the leaders of the UF and the opposition parties.

NEW DELHI- For a Date with Clinton

NEW DELHI For a Date with Clinton BM It is not clear what anxiety has impelled the Indian prime minister to brush aside all protocol considerations to seek a meeting with president Clinton. Unless he is able to swap dates with the leader of an accommodating country, Gujral may have to give up the idea of addressing the UN General Assembly. Bui in the prime minister's scheme of things the brief meeting with Clinton has taken precedence over everything else.

NEW DELHI-End of the Road for the UF

End of the Road for the UF BM A formal alliance between sections of the United Front and the Congress is now very much in the offing and fundamental economic and social interests and conflicts are sought to be contained under flimsy political power-sharing arrangements. Lacking in political authority, a Congress-UF government will be based on shady deals and abuse of the administrative apparatus for personal and party political ends.

NEW DELHI-Irrelevant Debate

Irrelevant Debate BM The current controversy about the petroleum price hike only diverts attention from the more important issues: the lack of a well-balanced energy policy and the rapidity with which the oil sector is being opened up to the multinationals.

NEW DELHI-Falling in Line, Smartly

Falling in Line, Smartly BM The government has been very vocal about its supposed achievement in recording a build-up of exchange reserves. The WTO has taken this seriously and has now suggested that the quantitative restrictions on imports be lifted. And the government has promptly accepted the directive.

NEW DELHI-Left Parties and Chidambaram s Budget

Left Parties and Chidambaram's Budget BM The entry of the TMC with P Chidambaram as its star representative, into the government is but a prelude to the Eventual participation in the government of the Congress itself, which will signal the triumph of the so-called market-friendly policies set in motion in 1991 with the left parties watching helplessly. These parties wilt be seen, by the people as the facilitators of this particular denouement.

NEW DELHI- Neither Growth Nor Equity

tiffins, the dabbawallas are part of the Mumbai landscape. When they set out togetheron a pilgrimage, their absence leaves a vacuum. They are usually appreciated by the population which considers them courageous workers. The majority of the citizens state that if they disappeared, a part of Mumbai's identity and soul would disappear too. However, this expression of social 'appurtenance' is not synonymous with insertion in the sense that the dabbawallas remain deeply foreign to the city. They only occupy the space: they do not recognise themselves as city-dwellers and do not even try to become city-dwellers. They do not look at the city as a place where they can free themselves from the social and cultural constraints of their birthplace. To settle in the city is just a question of survival and of escaping from poverty. So reference to the village continues to regulate their lives, whether culturally, emotionally or socially, and is not questioned at all. However, they have to wait until retirement in order to resettle permanently and have a comfortable position within the village. All their savings are thus invested in the purchase of land, cattle or mill equipment.

NEW DELHI-Fake Reform and Populism

 5 Natarajan, History of Indian Journalism, p 29. 6 J Natarajan, History of Indian Journalism, 7 J Natarajan, History of Indian Journalism,

NEW DELHI-Quick Decline of UF Government

NEW DELHI Quick Decline of UF Government BM Popular discontent over the performance of the Deve Gowda government is gathering rapid momentum. Those who have been striking brave postures and proclaiming that the government will last its full term, if only because no political party or MP wants to face another general election are being shortsighted. The UP election may well turn out to be the catalyst to precipitate a crisis for the UF government.

NEW DELHI-High Cost of Wooing Foreign Capital

NEW DELHI High Cost of Wooing Foreign Capital BM As the government's wooing of foreign investors has become more ardent, the latter have stiffened their terms. The government's own room for manoeuvre has grown progressively restricted because the 'reformers' in the government have chosen to almost exclusively focus on foreign investment as the prime issue in the making of economic policy.

NEW DELHI-Gift-Wrapping the Reforms-Budget 1996-97

P CHIDAMBARAM, union finance minister, is being acclaimed for his skill in packaging in bright and attractive colours his product, the budget of the UF government for 1996-97, He is being complimented for scoring over his predecessor, Manmohan Singh, who lei himself be bogged down by following the straight and narrow path ordained by his mentors, the IMF/World Bank combine, and his political master, P V Narasimha Rao. Chidambaram is being given credit for political dexterity, if not economic expertise, in pushing ahead on the same road with greater success.

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